Asphalt sealers are used to protect your driveway or other paved paths from weather and water exposure, helping to extend their lifespan and reduce the overall amount of maintenance you will have to perform in the long run. There are several different types of asphalt sealers, each of which carries a different set of advantages and disadvantages with them. Understanding these differences can help you pick the right sealer for your needs.
Coal Tar Sealers
Coal tar sealers, sometimes just called tar sealers, are the least expensive and most widely available sealer on the market. They are made out of tar, sand, and other chemicals that provide a great deal of durability and longevity to your driveway. They will resist discoloration from sunlight exposure as well. However, the fumes from coal tar sealers can be harmful, and the chemicals used in the sealer are not environmentally friendly, so care should be used during application.
Asphalt sealers are, like their name suggests, made out of asphalt, and provide a safer alternative to coal tar sealers. Their fumes are not harmful, and their materials are not environmentally dangerous. However, like regular asphalt, asphalt sealers will degrade over time due to weather exposure, and will have to be replaced more often than coal tar sealers, increasing your long run costs.
Acrylic sealers are made out of synthetic, plastic like materials that offer a great deal of durability without the harmful fumes of other sealers. Besides their durability and longevity, acrylic sealers come in a wide variety of different colors, allowing you to match the color of the sealer to the color of the surface it is being applied to, which means that acrylic sealers can be used on concrete or masonry as well as asphalt. These types of sealers tend to be quite expensive, which means that they may not be ideal for every project.
Oil Based Sealers
Oil based sealers are based on oils, and will have a greasy, jellylike consistency that makes them extremely easy to apply to an asphalt surface. Oil based sealers provide excellent resistance against weather conditions, and will prevent your asphalt driveway from temperature changes as well as UV damage and discoloration. However, rain and snowfall will cause the oil based sealer to be worn away over time, which means that you will have to reapply the sealant every few years (the exact amount of time will depend on the amount of precipitation your climate receives).
To learn more about driveway sealing, contact a company like Home Outdoor.